100 Women Who Care join forces to aid others
NASHUA – Last month, 100 women came together, each equipped with blank $100 checks and a goal in mind to raise $10,000 for a local nonprofit organization.
And that’s exactly what they did. Marguerite’s Place, a nonprofit that provides women and their children with safe transitional housing and various social services, gladly accepted the checks Wednesday night.
A worldwide organization dedicated to giving back to charities and nonprofit organizations, 100 Women Who Care was brought to Nashua recently thanks to Doreen Bourassa.
In June, Bourassa had learned about the organization from a friend who had joined the Boston chapter and said she loved the concept. She did some research and found the closest 100 Women Who Care chapter covered the Keene/Peterborough area, so she decided to start her own chapter in Nashua.
They had their first full meeting Jan. 21, during which they raised the $10,000. The way 100 Women Who Care works is that there are four meetings per year. At each meeting, the women choose a local nonprofit for donations.
During meetings, which take place at Murphy’s Taproom in Bedford, the women come with their checks and are allowed vote for a charity or nonprofit organization. The night before the meeting, they have a Facebook Live presentation, during which they put all the nominations in a hat and pick out three. Charities that have been nominated multiple times will still only have one piece of paper enter a hat. The three that are picked will present at the meeting. Bourassa said typically the people who nominate the organizations will present about why it should be picked as the recipient. After this, the women vote. The other two organizations that are nominated but do not win can go back in the hat for the next meeting. The organization that gets picked won’t be able to be nominated for three years after they are picked.
Bourassa said at the next meeting, set for May, they hope to have $120 women. That way, $10,000 can go to the winner, and $1,000 can go to each runner-up.
The group serves as a outlet for women to give back to their communities in a simple way, especially for some if they don’t have the time to participate in volunteer work but would still like to help make a difference.
Brookline resident and interior designer Kelly Murphy said she decided to join because she had seen a video on Facebook about 100 Women Who Care and saw people that she knew. Murphy has always given to fundraisers and charities. She’s a supporter of the United Way of Greater Nashua and its programs. She has also given to the Humane Society and has participated in Building on Hope, which does makeovers of the nonprofit facilities across southern New Hampshire. She also helped give makeovers to some of the apartments at Marguerite’s Place two summers ago.
Murphy said she enjoys volunteering because it is a rewarding experience on both ends.
“There are others that are less off than us and this is our community. It’s our natural surroundings and giving back is just the right thing to do,” Murphy said.
Similar to Murphy, another member and community volunteer Kate Prolman, said she had also stumbled upon the group while she was on Facebook.
Prolman was one who had nominated Marguerite’s Place and presented to the group. Prolman had worked with Marguerite’s Place in the past to bring sponsored bags of goodies during the holidays.
In terms of joining 100 Women Who Care, Prolman said, “It’s nice when you can give directly to people that are apart of your community.”
Susan McNary, a member of 100 Women Who Care and an active volunteer at Marguerite’s Place, said she joined 100 Women Who Care after being asked by Bourassa, who’s daughter grew up with hers. McNary said she, Bourassa and other members worked to send out emails to many women, asking if they were interested in joining the chapter.
McNary has been volunteering at Marguerite’s Place for over three years now.
“I come from parents who are big on volunteering and thought if I was going to spend my time doing something, it would be something local,” McNary said. What particularly drew her in was helping young women.
The money will go a long way at Marguerite’s Place. Executive Director Mary Jordan, Director of Development and Public Relations Christa Tsechrintzis and Director of Childcare Candace Gordon Gordon were in attendance Wednesday evening to accept the check.